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5 Months Clear - And a New Job?

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  • 5 Months Clear - And a New Job?

    I'm a long-time visitor of this site and a cancer survivor. I finally have decided to take the time to register my account so that I can respond to questions that I see posted on here which are relevant to my experience. I was diagnosed with Stage II Non-Seminoma cancer last summer following my college graduation.

    But now I have a situational question that I would like to pose to anybody with insight or experience in changing jobs after treatment has ended. I have worked at a student apartment complex for the past 7 years now. It was very handy while I was a student, but even though I have benefits via AETNA, this is just a job. I don't see it going anywhere fast. The good thing was that they were very flexible with me during my treatment and worked around my schedule so that I could still work.

    That being said, I have secured a job offer in public works within the city that I live. The pay is similar but the benefits and work schedule are much more attractive to me. I also just feel that it's time for a change and I think that this new job can potentially turn into a career. The new job utilizes Blue Cross Blue Shield for their employees. After doing some quick searching, I read some articles which made mention that BCBS had sent out letter at one point to Cancer patients explaining that some of their meds will become very expensive. Although I'm 5 months out of my 3xBEP and have received the "all clear", I worry about recurrence and how a new employer and insurance company might handle a newer employee in a physically demanding job that needs to seek treatment. (Worst case scenario, I know.)

    So at the end of the day, I guess I'm just curious if anybody might have any advice for me given the situation at hand. Also, how does Blue Cross Blue Shield work out for those of you who have it? How high might my new premium rise given that I'll have to list a pre-existing condition? Does anybody think that I should "play-it-safe" and hold onto my current job until I have a few more months under my all-clear belt?

    Thank in advance!

  • #2
    I have BCBS and I did hit my deductible limit, what with CTs, surgery, radiation treatment. Your premiums will not be different because of your diagnosis. When you get insurance through your employment the only factors to cost are the same for all employed, things like SO, number of children and such

    As for med costs I couldn't say. I do know that my thyroid med is $7 for three month supply.


    • #3
      ^^^ Exactly this. I have been on BCBS since the beginning of my treatment. Part of the affordable care act was that you can't deny for pre-existing conditions. And an employer group plan doesn't anyway.

      BCBS at least in MN seems to be jerking around with providers though. Seems every year or two there is some big to-do about a provider threatening to switch because BCBS doesn't pay enough. The current one:
      6/5/15: bHCG 27,AFP 8.66, LDH 361, 5.6cm lymph node - Stage IIC
      6/16/15: Left I/O 85% EC, 10% chorio, 5% yolk sac opinion 2 (mayo) 90% EC, 10% yolk sac
      7/7/15: bHCG 56, AFP 42, LDH 322
      7/13/15 - 9/18/15: 4xEP
      10/1/15: bloodwork normal, ct scan shows 2 lymph nodes 1.0cm
      10/26/15: 2nd opinion on CT results - lymph nodes normal. Surveillance!
      4/6/16: 1.7cm X 1.5cm lymph node found with markers normal.
      4/20/16: RPLND @ IU - teratoma only!
      3/29/2018 all clears up to this date!


      • #4
        Typically, pre-existing conditions have no effect on rates or anything else with employer provided plans. While chemo drugs tend to be expensive, any relapse will likely see you hitting the maximum out of pocket rather quickly, at which point you will be 100% covered. This is assuming that you are in the US, I have no knowledge of other countries.

        Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
        Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP


        • #5
          I'm located in North Carolina, so no worries about other countries coverage types. I guess that I'm also mostly concerned about my odds and the potential for me to have to take leave in the event there is a recurrence. Since the new job is fairly physical in nature, I may not be able to perform my same duties should a problem arise down the road. I'm only 5-6 months out of chemo, but I barely had any problems with side effects and all that. I just wonder if there is a recurrence, and the city determines that I cannot perform the job up to par, will they likely fire me? (Which would also lead to a loss of insurance coverage all together.)